Hot Press: Cricket Duo Talk Michael Jackson

Hot Press had a chat with Neil and Thomas - From July 2009.


If there’s a better “Where were you when Michael Jackson died?” story than The Duckworth Lewis Method‘s, we’ve yet to hear it.

“We were in the MCC pavilion at Lords - where cricket began - having dinner with Sir Tim Rice, Michael Atherton who captained England in a record 54 test matches, current England spin-bowler Graham Swann, Christopher Martin-Jenkins who’s the Jimmy Magee of cricket commentary, the Editor and Sports Editor of The Times, the former Chairman of the BBC, Lord Rees-Mogg, Frank Skinner, the screenwriter Ronald Harwood, who’s done things like Australia, and Mervyn King, the Head Of The Bank Of England,” reveals Mr Lewis who’s the spit of The Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon.

“I was getting a bowling lesson from Graham Swann and Mr Duckworth was swapping Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood anecdotes with Frank Skinner when Ben from The Times came over and said ‘Michael Jackson’s just died!’ Sir Tim was going ‘My on my’ while I was thinking, ‘How can this evening get any more surreal?’”

“I can’t understand people being surprised that Michael Jackson died, because he’s looked like shit for the past ten years,” adds Mr Duckworth, a ringer for Pugwash mainman Thomas Walsh. “I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but the chances of him living to a ripe old age were pretty slim!”

As well connected as they are, the impressively whiskered duo wouldn’t have been invited to this pre-Ashes beano if they hadn’t just released Ireland’s first - and very probably last - cricket concept album.


We’ll have more on The Duckworth Lewis Method in our next issue. In the meantime, who do they fancy to win The Ashes?

“My prediction is the same as Michael Atherton’s - which I’m very proud about - which is 2-1 England,” reckons Thomas.

“I wish I’d got in there first because that’s what I reckon it’s going to be,” Neil Nods. “On paper - as opposed to grass, which is what’s important - England have the better side.”

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